Jan Schulte - Tropical Drums Of Deutschland
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Surreal collection of 'tropical' music excavated from, mainly obscure, small issues of 80's Deutschland. Compiled by esteemed producer, 'digger and Salon Des Amateurs resident Jan Schulte.
There are many lazy reissues floating about these days, so it's a real treat when one comes about that brings with it a whole idea and a concept that may have stayed well under the radar if it weren't for the work involved in re-presenting, and perhaps even 're-imagining' this collection.
Packed across two discs, in wholly suitable artwork attire, Copenhagen's Music For Dreams have appointed Jan Schulte with the mission to compile from his favourite obscurities, from a rather obscure 'genre' in itself.
"Schulte has pulled together a collection of ‘tropical drum’ music made in and around Germany and says the compilation stems from a "general fascination for music that describes places where the artists have never been." Much of the music on ‘Tropical Drums Of Deutschland’ came out on small imprints in the late '80s.
According to all maps and witness accounts, Germany does not officially have any tropical forests. This is of no concern to Schulte however, who has unearthed many stunning examples of tropical drum music recorded there. Perhaps the number of botanical gardens and palm houses in Germany confused musicians into mistaking the climate, or maybe it was just a happy blend of escapism and multi-cultural integration within musical scenes that spawned such a curious output of indefinable tribal folk jazz.
The musicians involved were mainly traditionally schooled, born and raised in Germany. At that time to be interested in foreign folk music might have seemed a gimmick to some, what with the emerging "world music boom" already snowballing into the mainstream. Songs about the jungle or the rainforest made by people that know the rainforest only from television and books. Somehow I think you can hear their mythical imagination and fantasy in those tracks," he explains.
We certainly hear it in the extensive use of wildlife samples on both ‘Tagtraum Eines Elefanten’ by Argile and on ‘Wuhan Wuchang’ by Total Art Of Percussion. Or on the repetitive and trance-inducing drum circle re-enactments of Ralf Nowys ‘Akili Mali’ and Bob Moses & Billy Martin’s "Boat Song Part II". And while Austrian band Sanza stand out with their interpretation of the traditional folk song ‘Sounou’, many of the inclusions take an avantgarde stance towards their visions of the tropics. The works of Om Buschmann and Trimopen seem to convey the stark and feverish nature of the jungle and its dangers, without relying on clichés. And while there is certainly a European approach in the production techniques on many of these recordings, the artists created something beyond all templates. In fusing folk music traditions from various corners of the world with avant-garde jazz improvisation and a distinctly European sound, they carved out a path of their own.
Düsseldorf-based Jan Schulte has been following this path with his own productions in the past years. During the present resurgence of tribal influences in underground dance music, his recordings under the alias Wolf Müller and Bufiman have stood out as the most interesting, funky and mind-blowing within this niche. With the compilation ‘Tropical Drums Of Deutschland’ on Music For Dreams, Jan Schulte re-traces this path to its origins. With the inclusion of two exclusive edits he also engages and re-examines these tracks and incorporates his own musical expression into the mix. "
This is one of those records that will find it's unique place in your record shelf, and continue to find a time for curious re-visits!
2 x 12" -
served in printed sleeve.
1. Klang Fängt An - Om Buschman 03:51
2. Wuhan Wuchang - Total Art of Percussion 07:09
3. Tagtraum Eines Elefanten - Argile 04:28
4. Troubadix In Afrika - Rüdiger Oppermann's Harp Attack 03:56
5. Kleine Rosa Wolke - Argile 04:40
6. Sounouh - Sanza 05:44
7. Prima Kalimba - Om Buschman 04:26
8. Boat Song, Pt. 2 - Bob Moses, Billy Martin 03:31
9. Akili Mali - Ralf Nowy 02:59
10. Wagagroove - Trimopen 05:52
11. Hey Tata Gorem - Om Buschman 07:14
12. Hey Tata Gorem (Wolf Müller Edit) - Om Buschman 04:54
13. At The Water-Hole (Wolf Müller Edit) -
Klang Fängt An - Om Buschman
Drumming Birds (Bob Moses & Billy Martin) - Boat Song (part 1)
TCP - At The Water-Hole (Wolf Muller edit)
Total Art Of Percussion - Wuhan Wuchang